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Brenda Hale Fellow in Law (Girton College); Director of Studies in Law (Part IA and IB); Affiliated Lecturer

M.A., M.Phil (Cantab)


Tom’s research interests lie in communicative aspects of punishment and criminal law. He is currently writing up his ESRC-funded PhD research entitled 'Punishment and communication: perceptions of penal messages in sentencing’. This empirical project has involved observations of sentencing and interviews with Crown Court judges. Tom is exploring how sentencing can be used as a 'teachable moment', and what that might mean for ‘censure’ theories of punishment, with a view to enhancing the legitimacy and effectiveness of sentencing. The project is supervised by Professor Nicola Padfield and Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe. Tom previously taught Criminology undergraduates at Anglia Ruskin University, and supervised M.Phil students and residents of HMP Grendon in Criminology on the 'Learning Together' course. He has also worked with the Texas Defender Service (a non-profit organisation working to combat systemic flaws in the Texas death penalty system).

Teaching Responsibilities

Tom supervises undergraduates studying Criminal Law and Criminology, Sentencing and the Penal System (CSPS), and lectures sentencing law and practice in CSPS. He also teaches the Criminal Justice: Players and Processes course for LLM and MPhil students.

Select Publications

Padfield, N and Hawker, T. ‘Editorial: Sentencing via video link’ [2017] Crim. L.R. 8: 585

Hawker, T. (2016). Book review of Punishment by Brooks, T. Abingdon: Routledge (2012). Howard Journal of Crime and Justice 55(3): 365-7.

Research centres and interest groups